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Proceedings Paper

Laser Rangefinder Optics
Author(s): D.Allan Roberts
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Paper Abstract

The optics in a laser rangefinder must perform three separate functions: transmitter divergence control, receiver energy collection, and aiming sensor imaging. In addition, boresight may need to be monitored. The design of these optics is driven primarily by the rangefinder packaging constraints, which limit both the external window size and the internal space available. System considerations such as range, target, propagation, package, and safety are used to determine the required optical apertures, fields, divergence, and resolution. Often, the total area of the transmitter, receiver, and sensor apertures cannot be accommodated by the front of the package, in which case functions must be combined. Sensor optics depend somewhat on the specific sensor (eye, TV, FLIR), but usually require the biggest possible aperture with near diffraction-limited performance. Laser beam expanders are usually some form of Galilean telescope, and often present serious Narcissus and damage problems. Receiver optics look simple, but narrow filters and small detectors can make them quite sophisticated. Boresight optics are sometimes required to monitor the alignment of the laser beam to the sensor reticle. Some specific design suggestions are made, with emphasis on those problems which are peculiar to laser range-finders. These designs emphasize high-power pulsed lasers and diffuse targets, since they are the most common and present some of the greatest challenges.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 July 1986
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0610, Scientific and Engineering Applications of Commercial Laser Devices, (16 July 1986); doi: 10.1117/12.956391
Show Author Affiliations
D.Allan Roberts, Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0610:
Scientific and Engineering Applications of Commercial Laser Devices
Rick Feinberg; Lewis Holmes; Morris Levitt, Editor(s)

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